Burning love

first_imgA forest that’s neither too dry nor too wet. If it’s too dry, fires get hotter and more damaging. If it’s too wet, the smoke becomes more damaging to air quality.Temperatures between 30 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.Relative humidity between 30 percent and 55 percent.Fairly constant winds between 5 and 12 miles per hour.A reliable wind direction that won’t take the smoke into sensitive areas, such as into a residential neighborhood or across a highway.A “mixing height,” or the point at which smoke hits turbulent air, of at least 1,700 feet. Improves wildlife habitat, especially for deer, turkeys, quail and black bears, by enhancing the growth of more palatable browse and berry plants.Opens up access, allowing people to enjoy their woodlands more.Reduces the trees’ competition for soil moisture and nutrients.Serves a number of forestry and agricultural purposes, from reducing the risk of tree diseases to improving forage for grazing. By Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaDecades of dire warnings from Smokey the Bear have given some people the wrong idea about forest fires. They’re not all bad.In the South, especially, regular burning in pine forests is good when it’s properly done, said David Dickens, an extension service forester with the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forest Resources.”It would have been better if all those ads had said, ‘Only you can prevent forest wildfires,” Dickens said, emphasizing the “wild.”A basic premise of foresters is that in itself, fire is neither good nor bad. “It simply changes the ecology of the forest,” he said. “That can be good or bad, depending on what we value in the forest.”Millions of acresEvery winter in the South, he said, prescribed fires burn roughly 4 million acres of pine forests for specific management purposes.Done under the right conditions, prescribed fires reduce the risk of more damaging wildfires by clearing out the undergrowth and debris. That makes the forest safer for the trees, wildlife and nearby homes and other property.Dickens said clearing out potentially dense underbrush and debris has other benefits, too. Among other things, it: The right conditionsForesters prescribe dormant-season fires for these purposes only in the right combination of conditions, which normally begin coming together in early November, Dickens said. By mid-March, weather patterns typically become too unpredictable for prescribed fires.To burn out the undergrowth and debris without harming the trees, foresters look for: Better smokeThe smoke from such fires is much less damaging to air quality than that from wildfires, Dickens said.”Most of the smoke is water vapor,” he said. “The whiter the smoke, the higher the water content.” People with fireplaces can see this easily if they’ve ever burned a piece of “green” or unseasoned wood with a high moisture content.Using fires to manage forests is hardly new, Dickens said. When the earliest European settlers arrived in the Southeast, they found native Americans already using fire to clear out the undergrowth and improve hunting, among other things.Now, most foresters advise burning pine forests every two or three years. “Burning hardwood forests is a lot trickier,” Dickens said.Even pine forests on steep slopes aren’t good candidates for burning, he said. Many conditions have to be right before a fire can produce the desired benefits without causing unwanted damage.last_img read more

Holiday Shopping

first_imgBy Michael Rupured University of GeorgiaIt starts soon after the Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie are gobbled down, the football games are over and the family is headed home. That is when serious shoppers – with adrenaline pumping – sort through all the advertisements to plan for the big after-Thanksgiving-Day sales. More than ever, it is important to shop smart. That means developing a sound spending plan. With economic conditions still shaky, now is not the time to pile up a lot of holiday debt. Know how much money you can spend. To avoid problems in 2009, limit your spending to the cash you have set aside for the season.Think creatively. Everyone is tightening their belts this year. Remember, it is the thought that counts. Homemade gifts, food, clothing or crafts may be appreciated more than a mass-produced item purchased at a local store.Give the gift of time. Things like babysitting, car washing or housecleaning may also be well received.When you get to the stores, keep your spending plan and shopping list in hand. Think carefully about each and every purchase. Avoid deciding on an item in the spur of the moment. Take your time. Think about your needs and the amount of money you have.Use the ads that appear in newspapers and mailboxes around Thanksgiving to plan your purchases. Compare offerings to find the best values. Once you decide on a particular item, compare features, quality, prices, installation fees, delivery charges and service rates. Sometimes the cost to use and maintain the item makes selecting a more expensive model the cheaper option. Look in the newspaper classified section for items, too. Person-to-person buying often saves money.Running from store to store may not be feasible. Instead of driving around town, use the phone and Internet to find information, particularly for gifts you will send out of town. You may find that it is cheaper to order the desired items and ship them directly to the recipients.Shopping online can also be an easy way to locate special or unique gifts. Do be careful. Use a secure browser. Shop with companies you know and keep your passwords creative and private. Pay particular attention to shipping charges. Be sure to print out and keep records of your purchases.With a possible recession looming, retailers started sales earlier this year than in years past. That means plenty of bargains, but you will need to shop carefully to find them. As the holidays approach, many will slash prices so the best deals may be still to come. Waiting for last-minute price cuts makes sense for items that are not in short supply.This might be the year to avoid buying gift cards. If you buy a gift card at a store that then goes out of business, you may as well have flushed your money down the toilet. If you do buy gift cards, make sure you understand the terms. Some companies begin charging fees after a relatively short time. These fees can eat up the value of the card.Bargains that sound too good to be true are usually just that. Expect a fair and reasonable price for goods and services. Read labels, seals, tags and instruction booklets. Ask questions. Get the facts before you buy. Find out what is promised, who stands behind the promises and what you must do to benefit from any warranty. Your holiday spending plan is not just about the gifts you plan to buy. Remember to allow funds for parties, greeting cards, charitable giving and clothing to wear to holiday functions, along with other things that make the holiday season joyful for you and others.(Michael Rupured is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension financial management specialist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.)last_img read more

From nasty to poisonous

first_imgUniversity of Georgia horticulturalist Paul Thomas can’t think ofany common gift plants that are necessarily poisonous — most ofthe poisonous plants are those cut for Christmas decorations. Hecan, however, think of one that will light a child’s or pet’smouth on fire.Ornamental peppers sold around the holidays come in merry whiteand Christmas red. And these, he said, are usually bred from someof the hottest peppers on the market.“They can be, and often are, flaming, wish-you-were-dead hot,”Thomas said. Peppers can add interest to a table or garden area. But, anyonewho has children should purchase them with caution.“Keep in mind, if you decided to go with ornamental peppers, thatthey’re not going to kill a child, but you’re going to have avery unhappy baby or child if they eat them,” Thomas said.“They’re not going to understand they bit into a hot pepper.They’re just going to panic.”The best solution, as with any plant, is to keep them out of thereach of children.Poisonous plantsParents and others who may have children over for the holidaysshould watch out for a few plants commonly used as decorationthat are poisonous. These include amaryllis, calla lilies,English ivy, mistletoe, holly, juniper, lantana and yew,according to the UGA Extension publication “Poisonous Plants inthe Landscape” (pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubs/PDF/C957.pdf).Poisonous parts include:• Amaryllis – the bulbs and seeds• Calla lily – all parts• English ivy – leaves, stem and fruit• Holly – berries• Juniper – berry-like seeds• Lantana – fruit• Mistletoe – berries• Yew – berries and foliage“The term poisonous does not imply that the plant is fatal,” saidGary Wade, a UGA Extension horticulturist. “Some plants may beonly mildly toxic and may cause stomach ache or mild irritationof the mouth and throat when ingested.”Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to poison, he said.Keep an eye on what children, especially babies, are chewing on,and keep them away from plants.In case of a poison emergency or to get poison information,always keep the Georgia Poison Center number near your telephone.They can be contacted at (800) 222-1222 or (404) 616-9000. Forgeneral information, visit georgiapoisoncenter.org.If a poisoning occurs and the person is having trouble breathing,experiencing seizures or won’t wake up, call 9-1-1 immediately. Pretty poinsettiasPoinsettias, despite their reputation, aren’t poisonous, Thomas said.“They won’t even make a cat, dog or a child sick if they do eat aleaf or get sap on their skin,” Thomas said.Some people will itch when they come in contact with poinsettias.This is because they’re having an allergic reaction to the latexfound in the plants.Poinsettia sap can be irritating if it gets in the eyes or onsensitive skin. If this happens, wash the affected areaimmediately with water.last_img read more

International Agriculture Day 2012

first_imgThe task of ending world hunger begins with understanding that poverty affects over 1 billion people worldwide, who lack of resources or live in areas engaged in conflict. In developing countries, one of three children is malnourished. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty, staff and students celebrated international education within the college and the international activities CAES students this month at International Day 2012. “We would like to have 100 percent of our students study abroad,” said CAES Dean J. Scott Angle. “Our goal is to get everyone to go overseas to learn a different culture. If we can get all our students to understand that this is an international business that we’re in, and that feeding the hungry around the world is all of our responsibility, then we can be exactly where we need to be.” To emphasize the college’s goal of building a more food-secure global community, Maria Navarro, associate professor of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, served foods representative of the diets in high-, low- and mid-income countries. Former study abroad participants Paul Adeyemi, a senior studying Agricultural Engineering, and Myra Clarisse Ferrer, who is pursuing her PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics, shared their travel experiences with the crowd last week. William McFall, a master’s degree student studying Agricultural and Environmental Economics, took home a CAES Graduate Student International Travel Award to pay for a plane ticket to Brazil, where he will present a paper. Laura Ney, who has worked extensively with farmers living near UGA’s campus in Costa Rica, was honored with the college’s Undergraduate Global Citizen Award. The award recognizes a student who has embraced global citizenship by participating in and promoting the college’s international outreach efforts. Ney and Adeyemi will receive their Certificates in International Agriculture this spring along with four other CAES undergraduates. Food Science student Ariel Chan, Agricultural Education student Amanda Stephens, Environmental Economics and Management student Ben Dymecki and Biological Sciences student Ukachi Ugorji also will receive certificates. CAES offers the International Agriculture Certificate to students who achieve fluency in a second language and complete a minimum 8-week internship in a country where English is not the first language. The college started offering a graduate certificate in International Agriculture this year. Graduate students Na Hao, Zachary King and Ishakh Pulakkatu thodi also took prizes in this year’s international photo contest. For more information about study abroad programs offered through CAES or about the International Agricultural Certificate program visit www.global.uga.edu.last_img read more

Georgia Corn Crop

first_imgGeorgia corn growers can expect to face challenges in pricing this year, according to Dewey Lee, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension feed grain agronomist.Growers need to watch their expenses closely, recognizing that there is not much of a market for corn this season, Lee said. Currently, corn is selling for $3.67 per bushel, down almost a full dollar from last July. As a result, Georgia corn acreage is expected to drop significantly from last year.“In 2013, we were at 510,000 acres. In 2014, when prices started dropping, the acreage continued to drop to 350,000. Then, in 2015, it dropped even further to 330,000 acres. Last year, we produced about 410,000 acres,” Lee said. “As a guess, we will likely be down to around 330,000 to 340,000 acres.”Entering the growing season, Lee said that the market for corn is rapidly declining and remains unpredictable. Growers are frustrated that the market dropped considerably, but the price of production stayed the same. Costs of seed and fertilizer treatments have not decreased. Corn is a water-intensive crop, so growers also have to factor in irrigation costs.There other alternatives that growers may have to consider this year, Lee said.“They (growers) have to rely either on government programs or on planting more acres of a crop that’s more favorable price-wise, such as cotton or peanuts,” Lee said. “They also may change their rotations, but a lot of growers don’t like to change their rotations because they feel it is important to subsequent crops. It’s definitely an important year for corn growers to make every decision count.”Because temperatures are expected to be high with clear conditions this week, Lee expects many growers to begin planting their crop. Since the majority of corn acreage is irrigated, drought isn’t a concern. The only potential problem with the high temperatures is disease pressure. With prices already low, growers don’t want to lose any crop to diseases like southern corn rust.“With prices expected to be tight this year, growers need to carefully manage their crop. There’s not much wiggle room in regard to profitability, so farmers need to make large yields,” Lee said.Of the top three row crops that Georgia farmers produce – cotton, peanuts and corn – corn is grown on the least acreage, but still records a significant farm gate value every year. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, corn’s 2015 Georgia farm gate value is more than $252.9 million.(Julia Rodriguez is an intern on the UGA Tifton Campus.)last_img read more

Governor announces $2.5 million for renewable energy projects

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas announced today that the Department of Public Service (DPS) will award $2.57 million from the Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) for renewable energy projects throughout the state. The goal of the CEDF is to increase the development and deployment of combined heat and power (CHP) technologies and renewable energy generation. I am pleased to announce $2.57 million in grant awards for the development of clean, renewable energy in Vermont, said Governor JimDouglas.  As we continue to work hard with our federal partners and energy stakeholders across the state, we have a tremendous opportunity to create greater energy independence for Vermonters.  These awards will help us continue to expand our efficiency and renewable energy efforts from funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Governor said.DPS received 39 proposals seeking $5.3 million in funding, in response to the CEDF grant solicitation issued in January.  Applicants submitted proposals for projects in the following categories:  Pre-Project Financial Assistance, Small-Scale Systems, Large-Scale Systems, and Special Demonstration Projects.  There was a maximum grant award of $100,000 for Pre-Project Financial Assistance, $60,000 for Small-Scale Systems, and $250,000 for all other projects. The following projects were selected for grant awards:Pre-Project Financial Assistance:Biomass-Fueled Combined Heat & Power Project with District Energy Heating System in Brattleboro, Town of Brattleboro: $20,000Georgia Mountain Community Wind Project, Georgia Mountain Community Wind, LLC: $75,123Troy Hydroelectric License and Feasibility Study Project, Jonathan & Jayne Chase: $48,375Montpelier Community Energy System, City of Montpelier: $75,000Bolton Wind Power Project, Green Mountain Clean Energy, LLC: $82,700Vermont Pellet Works Biomass Cogeneration Feasibility Study, Vermont Biomass Energy Corporation: 25,000Rutland Wastewater Treatment Facility Digester Co-Generation Project, Rutland Redevelopment Authority: 25,000Sunrise Village Northwind 100 Project, Sunrise Homeowner s Association: $25,000Large-Scale Systems:Camel s Hump Middle School Solar Photovoltaic Project, Mt. Mansfield Union School District: $250,000St. Francis Xavier School Proposal for Photovoltaic Power System, St. Francis Xavier School: $250,000Monument Farms Anaerobic Digester, Monument Farms: $250,000Shore Acres Farm Pole Mount Photovoltaic System, Shore Acres Farm: $20,000Tracking System for Net Zero Building at The Putney School, The Putney School: $221,000Rock of Ages Wind Turbine Replacement, Northern Power Systems: $130,000Heritage Aviation Solar Photovoltaic System, Heritage Aviation: $20,000Shelburne Farms Solar Photovoltaic Project, Shelburne Farms: $250,000Joneslan Farms Small Digester, Brian & Steve Jones: $250,000GWR Engineering Photovoltaic Colony, Bill & Karen Root: $31,920Williams Hill Community Renewable Energy Project, Peter Schneider & Jessica Donavan: $33,250Barrett Green Business Building Solar Photovoltaic Installation, Barrett Enterprises: $32,760Special Demonstration Projects:Riverside Industrial Center Biomass Cogeneration, Economic Development Group, Inc.: $250,000Carbon Harvest Energy Randolph Landfill Gas-to-Combined Heat & Power with Agricultural Integrations, Carbon Harvest Energy, LLC: $200,000 This is an exciting time for renewable energy development in our state, said Robert Dostis, Vice-Chair of the CEDF Investment Committee.  The Clean Energy Development Fund continues to provide Vermonters with the opportunity to undertake smaller, locally owned renewable energy projects that are uniquely Vermont, he said.The CEDF was established in 2005 through ACT 74 and is currently funded through proceeds to the state from Entergy.  Additional information on the CEDF, including grant solicitation RFPs, the CEDF loan application, and the CEDF municipal technical assistance application, is available in the on the DPS website at: http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy/ee_cleanenergyfund.html(link is external).last_img read more

KeyBank announces additional support for Haiti relief

first_imgKeyCorp CEO Henry L. Meyer III today announced that Key will give $5,000 to Haiti earthquake relief efforts in each of Key s 22 Key Community Bank districts from Maine to Alaska and in selected cities where Key National Bank has a presence. The gift will total $135,000. The donations will be made through a local chapter of the American Red Cross in each location.In presenting a check for Haiti relief to the Vermont and New Hampshire Valley Region of the American Red Cross, Scott Carpenter, president, Vermont District, KeyBank, said: This donation comes with the thoughts and prayers of our entire Key community.  We grieve with the people of Haiti and are proud to support them as they begin to rebuild their country.KeyBank Foundation head Margot Copeland added, Our employees are already giving individually and generously to this tragedy by donating to the American National Red Cross and other first responders. KeyBank Foundation will continue to match these gifts dollar for dollar, which is in addition to the $135,000 announced today.Individuals wishing to support Haiti relief should contact a trusted charity, such as the American Red Cross or other first responder, to make a pledge or donation. Lists of relief organizations working in Haiti are available on the Internet.KeyBank N.A. is one of Vermont s largest financial services companies. A strong proponent for local economic growth, Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, retirement, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. The company’s businesses deliver their products and services through KeyCenters and offices; a network of approximately 2,400 ATMs; telephone banking centers (1.800.KEY2YOU); and a Web site, Key.com, that provides account access and financial products 24 hours a day.Source: BURLINGTON, VT,  January 29, 2010 KeyCorplast_img read more

Vermont warns of health insurance scams in wake of health care reform

first_imgMany people do not yet fully understand how the recently approved health insurance reform legislation will affect their health insurance coverage, access to services, or options available to them or their families. This has created an opportunity for scam artists and criminals looking to confuse and defraud the public.Stories of fraudsters going door-to-door to sell phony insurance policies, and accounts of con artists attempting to make dishonest profits by urging consumers to obtain coverage in non-existent “limited enrollment” periods they claim are made possible with this new legislation have already been reported by the media.“Vermonters can sometimes feel like we’re a safe distance from the scams and fraudulent activities we hear about on the national news,” said Paulette Thabault, Vermont’s Commissioner of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA). “Unfortunately, Vermont is not immune from criminals looking to take advantage of individuals, and scams and illegal activities do occur in our state.”Thabault advises Vermonters to beware of health insurance policies that are offered with time-limited and offer-limited benefits, or ones advertised as necessitated by health insurance reform. She also encourages anyone who is unsure that an opportunity is legitimate to check with BISHCA before signing a policy or writing a check for new health insurance coverage.Consumer Services Specialists at BISHCA’s Health Care Administration are available to answer consumer questions about health insurance coverage. They can be reached at 1-800-631-7788 (toll-free in VT) or by e-mail: BISHCA-PubInfo@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail). Additional information on health insurance options in Vermont can also be found on the BISHCA website (www.bishca.info(link is external)).Source: BISHCA. 4.7.2010# # #last_img read more

Green Mountain Coffee declares three-for-one stock split, earnings report

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-one stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend. The company also reported revenue grew 68 percent in the second quarter.“This stock dividend allows us to share our success with our loyal shareholders and underscores our confidence in the strength of our Company and its prospects for the future”The Company will distribute two additional shares of its common stock for every one share of common stock to all shareholders of record at the close of business on Monday, May 10, 2010. The shares will be distributed on Monday, May 17, 2010 by the Company’s transfer agent, Continental Stock Transfer, so that the new shares issued will equal three times the pre-split number. The Company’s common stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at the Monday, May 17, 2010 closing price divided by three.“This stock dividend allows us to share our success with our loyal shareholders and underscores our confidence in the strength of our Company and its prospects for the future,” said Larry Blanford, GMCR’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We remain committed to building stockholder value by providing consumers with an extraordinary coffee experience while helping to make a positive difference in the world.”Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced its fiscal 2010 second quarter results for the thirteen weeks ended March 27, 2010, reporting very strong top and bottom line growth.“GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation of Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations”Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 increased 68% to $324.9 million as compared to $193.4 million reported in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.According to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 totaled $24.7 million or $0.54 per fully diluted share. Under the new Financial Accounting Standards Board pronouncement on business combinations, effective starting in fiscal 2010 for the Company, acquisition-related transaction expenses are required to be expensed rather than capitalized. In the second quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company incurred approximately $5.0 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, of transaction expenses related to the pending Diedrich Coffee, Inc. (“Diedrich”) acquisition as well as $3.0 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, of amortization of identifiable intangibles related to the Company’s prior acquisitions. Excluding the transaction-related expenses, non-GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 increased 114% to $27.8 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, from $13.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.During fiscal 2010’s second quarter, 720 million K-Cup® portion packs were shipped system-wide by all Keurig licensed roasters, representing an increase of 67% over the year-ago quarter. Supporting continued growth in K-Cup demand, there were 731,000 system-wide brewers with Keurig®-branded brewing technology shipped during the second quarter of fiscal 2010 compared to 486,000 shipped during the second quarter of fiscal 2009.Lawrence J. Blanford, GMCR’s President and CEO, said, “GMCR’s Keurig Single-Cup Brewing System continues to gain awareness and adoption nationwide, fueling our strong revenue and EPS growth. In our fiscal second quarter, both our Keurig business unit and our Specialty Coffee business unit achieved solid year-on-year revenue growth at 68% and 69% respectively. We are very pleased to be able to deliver these outstanding financial results while remaining true to our commitment to be a socially and environmentally responsible company.”Blanford continued, “Every GMCR employee is focused on executing the key initiatives that will enable us to scale and expand our business and, as a result, deliver improved consumer and shareholder value. Innovation continues to be a priority and we are excited about the initial success and future opportunity we see for new beverages like our Café Escapes® coffee house offerings, our refreshing Celestial Seasonings® brewed-over-ice teas and our revv™ and revv Pulse™ high-energy coffee beverages. New K-cup products are designed to drive Keurig Single-Cup Brewer adoption and expand brewer usage occasions.”Separately today, GMCR also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a three-for-one stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend. The Company will distribute two additional shares of its common stock for every one share of common stock to all shareholders of record at the close of business on May 10, 2010. The shares will be distributed on Monday, May 17, 2010 and the Company’s common stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at the Monday, May 17, 2010 closing price divided by three.Fiscal 2010 Second Quarter Financial ReviewKey Business Drivers & MetricsApproximately 86% of GMCR’s consolidated net sales in the fiscal second quarter were from the Keurig Brewing System and its recurring K-Cup portion pack revenue.Total K-Cup net sales increased 92%, or $98.0 million, over the same period in 2009. Total Keurig brewer and accessories sales increased 57%, or $23.5 million year-over-year. For the Keurig business unit, net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2010, after the elimination of inter-company sales, were $171.3 million, up 68% from net sales of $102.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 with approximately two-thirds of the increase driven by very strong K-Cup sales to retailers and to consumers from Keurig.com.For the Specialty Coffee business unit (SCBU), net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 grew 69% to $153.6 million, after the elimination of inter-company sales, as compared to $91.2 million reported in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.Dollar net sales growth was strongest in channels that benefit from sales of K-Cup portion packs including supermarkets, consumer direct and away from home coffee channels.Net sales related to the Timothy’s brand, which are included in the Company’s results since its acquisition in November 2009, represented approximately 21 percentage points of the 69% increase in SCBU’s net sales, and 10 percentage points of the 68% increase in GMCR’s total company sales.Fair Trade Certified™ coffees represented approximately 28% percent of coffee pounds shipped this quarter. Costs, Margins and IncomeSecond quarter 2010 gross profit increased to 33.4% of total net sales compared to 32.1% for the corresponding quarter last year. The improvement was driven by the higher manufacturing gross margin derived from the increase in volume of the Company’s manufactured K-Cups as a percentage of total system volume. Offsetting the higher manufacturing gross margin was an increase in warranty expense and sales returns of certain reservoir brewers during the second quarter. The quality issue, which occurred in some brewers, did not represent a safety concern, and is believed to be tied to a component used in limited production runs from late 2009. The Company is replacing any brewers exhibiting this quality issue and has implemented hardware and software changes which it believes have corrected the issue. The gross profit margin was reduced by approximately 200 to 250 basis points due to the higher than normal warranty expense and sales returns. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales for the second quarter were 20.8% as compared to 20.4% in the prior year. General and administrative expenses include $5.0 million acquisition-related expenses related to the pending acquisition of Diedrich as well as the amortization of identifiable intangibles of $3.0 million due to the Company’s acquisitions mentioned previously.The Company increased its GAAP operating income by 82%, to $41.2 million, in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, as compared to $22.6 million in the year ago quarter, and improved its GAAP operating margin to 12.7% from 11.7% in the prior year period. Excluding the impact of the one-time $5.0 million transaction expenses in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company’s non-GAAP operating margin improved significantly from the prior year’s quarter to 14.2% from 11.7%.Interest expense was $0.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, compared to $1.0 million in the prior year quarter.Income before taxes for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 increased 88% to $40.2 million as compared to $21.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.The Company’s tax rate was 38.6% as compared to 39.2% in the prior year quarter. Balance Sheet HighlightsCash and short-term cash investments were $155.5 million at March 27, 2010, up from $123.6 million at December 26, 2009, primarily due to cash from operations.Accounts receivable increased 80% year-over-year to $128.2 million at March 27, 2010, from $71.1 million at March 28, 2009, as a result of continuing strong sales during the second quarter of fiscal 2010 and due to the acquisition of certain assets and the wholesale business of Timothy’s Coffees of the World Inc. in November 2009.Inventories decreased to $109.9 million at March 27, 2010, from $124.1 million at December 26, 2009, and increased 54% year-over-year from $71.6 million at March 28, 2009. Business Outlook and Other Forward-Looking InformationFiscal Year 2010The Company revised its outlook for its fiscal year 2010 to reflect continued improvement in demand for the Keurig single-cup brewing system. It now expects:Total consolidated net sales growth of 62% to 65%, up from prior estimates of 57% to 62%.Total K-Cup portion packs shipped system-wide by all Keurig licensed roasters to increase in the range of 73% to 78%.An operating margin in the range of 12.4% to 12.7% excluding the one-time acquisition-related transaction expenses totaling $10 million incurred to date and any to be incurred in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2010.Interest expense of $4.0 million to $5.0 millionA tax rate of 39.7% as compared to 38.2% in fiscal 2009 excluding the tax impact of any one-time acquisition-related transaction expenses for the Timothy’s and pending Diedrich acquisitions.Fully diluted non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of $2.04 to $2.14 per share pre-split, or $0.68 to $0.71 per share post three-for-one split, excluding any acquisition-related transaction expenses for the Timothy’s and pending Diedrich acquisitions in fiscal 2010. This non-GAAP earnings per share estimate range is consistent with the Company’s guidance for fully diluted GAAP earnings per share of $1.95 to $2.05 provided in its first quarter earnings press release which included approximately $0.09 per share of acquisition-related acquisition expenses incurred in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. In an effort to provide additional transparency to its business, and to be consistent with the way management evaluates business performance, the Company has elected at this time to move to providing guidance for fiscal 2010 on a non-GAAP basis, exclusive of transaction-related expenses. The fully diluted non-GAAP earnings per share estimate of $2.04 to $2.14 includes $11 million pre-tax or $0.15 per diluted share non-cash amortization expenses related to the identifiable intangibles of the Company’s acquisitions.Capital expenditures for fiscal 2010 in the range of $105 to $125 million, up from prior estimates of $95 to $115 million.Depreciation and amortization expenses in the range of $40 to $44 million including $11 million for amortization of identifiable intangibles, down from prior estimates of $44 to $48 million. Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2010:The company today provided its first estimates for its fiscal third quarter 2010 including:Total consolidated net sales growth of 58% to 63%.An operating margin in the range of 13.3% to 13.8% excluding any one-time acquisition-related transaction expenses for the pending Diedrich acquisition.Fully diluted non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.50 to $0.54 per share pre-split or $0.16 to $0.18 per share post three-for-one split, excluding any acquisition related transaction expenses and the impact of these transaction expenses on the Company’s effective tax rate once the pending transaction is completed. If the Diedrich acquisition is completed during the third quarter, the Company’s tax rate will increase significantly to reflect the non-deductible acquisition related expenses incurred during the first, second and third quarters of fiscal 2010. Use of Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to reporting financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the Company provides non-GAAP operating results that exclude certain charges or credits such as acquisition-related transaction expenses, the one-time operating income related to the settlement of the Company’s Kraft litigation, and non-cash related items such as amortization of identifiable intangibles. These amounts are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP. The Company’s management believes that these measures provide investors with greater transparency by helping illustrate the underlying financial and business trends relating to the Company’s results of operations and financial condition and comparability between current and prior periods. Management uses the measures to establish and monitor budgets and operational goals and to evaluate the performance of the Company. Please see the “GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation of Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations” tables that accompany this press release for a full reconciliation the Company’s GAAP to non-GAAP results.Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. will be discussing these financial results and future prospects with analysts and investors in a conference call available via the Internet. The call will take place today at 5:00 PM ET and will be available, with accompanying slides, via live webcast on the Company’s website at www.GMCR.com(link is external). The Company archives the latest conference call on the Investor Relations section of its website for a period of time. A replay of the conference call also will be available by telephone at 719-457-0820, Passcode 4848326 from 9:00 PM ET on April 28th through 9:00 PM ET on Monday, May 3rd, 2010.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. The Company encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to the Company’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released.About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR’s operations are managed through two business units. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces coffee, tea and hot cocoa from its family of brands, including Tully’s Coffee®, Green Mountain Coffee®, Newman’s Own® Organics coffee and Timothy’s World Coffee®. The Keurig business unit is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers are produced by a variety of licensed roasters, including Green Mountain Coffee, Tully’s Coffee and Timothy’s. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects. Visit www.gmcr.com(link is external) for more information.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its web site, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. GMCR encourages investors to consult this section of its web site regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to GMCR’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released.Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating Tully’s and Timothy’s wholesale operations and capacity into its Specialty Coffee business unit, the Company’s success in introducing new product offerings, the ability of lenders to honor their commitments under the Company’s credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, Keurig’s ability to continue to grow and build profits with its roaster partners in the At Home and Away from Home businesses, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the successful completion of the acquisition of Diedrich Coffee, Inc. and subsequent integration, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this press release. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases.Source: WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–4.28.2010last_img read more

Douglas signs final bills of the 2009-2010 biennium, last as governor

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today signed the last three bills into law, marking the culmination of the 2009-2010 legislative biennium.  As this is Governor Douglas’ last session as governor, today’s final bill signing of H. 781, An Act Relating to Renewable Energy, represents the last bill that will become law under his signature.“It is a tremendous responsibility knowing that, as Governor, my signature has the power to turn an idea into the law of the State of Vermont,” said Governor Douglas.  “In the past eight years, I’ve signed over 750 Acts and Charter Changes – and vetoed a few others.  That the renewable energy bill is the final bill is fitting.  It not only reaffirms Vermont’s deeply held environmental ethic, it builds on the close friendship we share with our neighbors in Quebec – a friendship that Quebec Premier Jean Charest and I have worked hard to cultivate over the past eight years.”In March, Governor Douglas traveled to Quebec City to help seal a long term power agreement with Hydro Quebec and Vermont utilities.  H. 781, An Act Relating to Renewable Energy, includes a provision that will recognize power from Hydro Quebec as renewable, making Vermont to first state to make such an acknowledgement in law and potentially providing additional benefits to Vermonters from the long term agreement.“When I first came into office in 2003, it was a priority for me and my Administration to rebuild a strong relationship with our friends in Quebec,” the Governor said.  “The depth and strength of the Vermont/Quebec relationship today is among my proudest achievements.”Earlier today, Governor Douglas was joined by business leaders and legislators as he signed into law H.783, An Act Relating to Miscellaneous Tax Provisions, and H.790 An Act Relating to Capital Construction and State Bonding.  The Governor hailed both bills as critical to the state’s economic recovery.“At a time when other states are raising taxes, Vermont sent a message that we are ready to aggressively compete for jobs in the post-recession economy by rolling back taxes,” the Governor noted.  “The partial sunset of the capital gains tax increases from last year and reinstating a higher estate tax exclusion through the Miscellaneous Tax Bill are important provisions that will encourage investment and job creation in Vermont.  Further, the Capital Bill’s investments in our state facilities will not only provide needed resources to improve state services, they will create jobs for Vermonters in our building trades by putting them to work on many critical projects.”  Source: Governor’s office. 6.4.2010###last_img read more